Climate change in Alaska No 1 by Suzanne Hughes

Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural, but since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels (like coal, oil, and gas) which produces heat-trapping gases. the Earth is now about 1.1°C warmer than it was in the late 1800s. The last decade (2011-2020) was the warmest on record. Many people think climate change mainly means warmer temperatures. But temperature rise is only the beginning of the story. Because the Earth is a system, where everything is connected, changes in one area can influence changes in all others. The consequences of climate change now include, among others, intense droughts, water scarcity, severe fires, rising sea levels, flooding, melting polar ice, catastrophic storms and declining biodiversity.

United Nations

Our planet is a dynamic but fragile ecosystem that has been ravaged by the effects of rising temperatures. From diminished air quality to erosion of our beaches and to loss of life, Earth is desperately in need. If writers and other creatives have learned anything over time it is that art can heal, inspire, support, document, celebrate, contextualize, and give voice to even the most sensitive of cultural phenomena. And the United Nations explains, “Everyone can help limit climate change. From the way we travel, to the electricity we use and the food we eat, we can make a difference.”

Throughout 2022, The AutoEthnographer invites rolling submissions in any of our categories (writing, poetry, multimedia, video, performance, etc.) around the theme of “Climate Change”. We seek work that utilizes personal reflections on lived experience to answers questions such as:

  • How have you and the cultures you participate in been impacted by climate change?
  • How have you and the cultures you participate in responded to climate change?

Learn more about how to submit your work by visiting: Submissions. And learn about what you can do to support a healthy planet by visiting View current submissions to this special issue by clicking HERE.

Please help us explore and document climate change throughout 2022 by sharing this article widely with fellow creatives. Thank you!

Marlen Harrison
The AutoEthnographer

Click me to view the 2022 Special Issue on Climate Change

Featured image “Climate Change in Alaska No. 1” by Suzanne Hughes for The AutoEthnographer; interview with artist forthcoming.

Please see our Submissions page for more information about publishing at The AutoEthnographer. Please see our Work with Us page to learn about volunteering at The AutoEthnographer. Please see our editor’s introduction The Birth of an Idea, and editorial board’s What Do Editors Look for When Reviewing Evocative Autoethnographies? to learn about the rationale behind The AutoEthnographer. View Our Team to learn about our editorial board. Visit our Community to interact with others.


United Nations (n.d.). What is climate change?

About Author

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The AutoEthnographer, Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison is an instructor in the fields of English and Education whose autoethnographic writing has appeared in a diverse array of publications including Writing on the Edge, Reflections on English Language Teaching, The Qualitative Report, and Qualitative Research in Psychology. As a journalist, Marlen was the managing editor of the international beauty website, Fragrantica, as well as contributor to publications such as Playboy, Business Insider, The Wall Street Journal, ESL Magazine, The New York Times, Basenotes, The Language Teacher, and Men’s Health. As an academic and cultural researcher, Marlen has enjoyed contributing to projects at Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, Finland’s University of Jyväskylä, and the Japan Association for Language Teaching. Having taught and lectured at leading institutions such as Doshisha University (Japan), Florida International University (USA), and University of Helsinki (Finland), Marlen is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University where he also teaches in the online MA English programs. Having called Japan, UK, Malta, and Finland home, he now lives in Florida with his husband and dog. Learn more at

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